The tap in your bathtub serves functional and aesthetic purposes. If you have a damaged tap, installing a replacement may be necessary. You can, however, choose to install a new fixture just to give the bathroom a new look and feel. A visit to any hardware store will yield a wide range of options from simple, understated designs to elaborate decorative taps. Changing bath taps is a relatively simple project that can completed in a single weekend.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Measuring tape
- New bath tap
- Plumber's wrench
- Plumber's tape
- Pipe adaptors
Measure the diameter of your current bathtub tap with measuring tape. Select a replacement either the same size as this or a little larger. A smaller tap will leave an exposed opening where the previous tap was.
Turn off your home's water supply.
Use a screwdriver to remove any screws holding the tap fixture in place. Remove the current tap using a plumber's wrench. If you want to save the tap for later use, wrap a rag around the tap where the wrench grips it to prevent scratching.
Place the new fixture over the exposed pipe to see how it fits. You may need a longer or shorter pipe to get the right fit. Use pipe adaptors to lengthen the pipe slightly, or remove the piping with a plumber's wrench and install a shorter piece of piping if the current piece is too long.
Wrap plumber's tape around the pipe in any area where you will be screwing new pipe on, as well as on the end of the pipe where you will attach the faucet. Apply the tape directly to the grooves of the pipe and screw the next piece on over top of it. This tape helps create a strong seal around the pipe so that water cannot leak out.
Apply a layer of caulk around the perimeter of the tub wall where the new tap will be sitting.
Install the new tap by screwing it onto the exposed pipe. Begin screwing it on by hand, then tighten with a plumber's wrench. Wrap a piece of cloth around the tap first to keep the wrench from scratching its surface. Screw the tap onto the wall with a screwdriver if screws are part of the fixture.
Allow at least 24 hours for the caulk around the new fixture to dry before using the new tap. Turn the water to the house back on once your project is complete, but do not turn on the faucet until this drying period has passed.
Tips and warnings
- If your tap includes a drain plug, your replacement should have this feature as well. The new fixture should come with instructions for how to properly install this part of the tap. In most cases the pop-up knob will connect to an adjustment bar beneath the tap which controls the drain.
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